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Appy Friday: Sleep-Tracking Apps and Intelligent Alarm Clocks

Welcome to the first installment of Appy Friday.


Welcome to Appy Friday. This is a new series in which we’ve teamed up with NBC’s “Today” show to highlight some of the best and most interesting apps on a wide range of topics. To kick things off this week, we’ll be talking about one of my favorite subjects: Sleep.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 40 percent of Americans are not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night. This can lead to health problems, cognitive impairment or just plain crankiness. But there is help for the weary.

Whether you need some assistance falling asleep or want to wake up feeling more refreshed, there are a myriad of smartphone apps and fitness trackers designed to help you do so. Here are several hand-picked by the Re/code reviews team, and be sure to check out White Noise, the favorite app of “Today’s” Savannah Guthrie. Of course, if you’re experiencing serious sleeping problems, you should consult your doctor.

Sleep Cycle and SleepBot: Both of these apps serve two purposes. First, they capture information about your sleep cycle each night (hours slept, sleep quality), so you can study your sleeping habits to learn why you’re not getting enough sleep and do something about it. Second, they act as an intelligent alarm clock and wake you up during your lightest state of sleep. Sleep Cycle is available for iOS and costs 99 cents. SleepBot is iOS and Android compatible and is free.

Jawbone Up24: The Jawbone Up24 is a wearable fitness tracker that can not only track your activity throughout the day, but also monitor your sleep activity at night. Based on your movements, it can decipher when you’re in a deep versus light sleep. Using the accompanying app, you can also set goals to go to bed at a certain time. There are other fitness trackers that offer similar sleep monitoring capabilities. You can find more information here.

Withings Aura: The Withings Aura is designed to help you fall asleep faster, sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed. It consists of a small sensor pad that goes under your mattress and monitors your movements, heart rate and breathing. A second bedside piece senses noise pollution, lighting and temperature; acts as an alarm clock; and can provide audio and visual feedback during your sleep and wake cycles. The Aura is due out this spring for $299.

(NBCUniversal is an investor in Revere Digital, which owns this website.)

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